Goddard Investment Group is hoping a popular racquet sport will revive a landmark skyscraper in downtown Dallas.

The $5 million, 14,000-square-foot expansion of the Fountain Place tower on Ross Avenue will begin next month, the Dallas Morning News reported. report. The renovation, designed by Phillips Architects, will include a new tenants lounge and clubhouse complete with a pickleball course, golf simulators and hunting simulators.

It’s Goddard’s first major upgrade to the 60-story building since 2019 spend The $70 million addition includes a garage with ground-floor retail, a restaurant and an outdoor plaza, while revamping the lobby and beautifying the fountains surrounding the tower.

The game of pickleball, which straddles the line between ping pong and tennis, has taken over the real estate world. In some markets, pickleball courts have become a must-have for multifamily and a welcome addition to office buildings with high vacancy rates.

Demand for office space has plummeted in Dallas and much of the country. About 77 percent of Fountain Place is up for grabs if subleases are counted.

In the Dallas area, about 60% of employees have returned to the office. Landlords are getting creative to revitalize their properties, often with major overhauls, including top-of-the-line amenities and luring employees back to the office. Some downtown buildings are also undergoing office-to-residential conversions.

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In recent years, most office building renovations have included upgrades to tenant lounges, new fitness centers or restaurant spaces. Now, though, landlords are building pickleball fields to stay competitive.

The 50-story Santander Tower in downtown Dallas recently added a pickleball court. Northwest of the city, developers are adding pickleball courts, volleyball courts and a nine-hole putting green to Cypress Waters, a 1,000-acre mixed-use complex.

— Quinn Donoghue

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